As Tate was getting ready this past weekend, he made an offhand remark about our tub not looking very clean. It wasn’t an attack, just an observation. It was also completely true. One of the kids chores each week is to clean bathrooms, but I haven’t done a very good job as of late checking when they are done. The result, sadly, poorly done. So I made the resolution to rectify the issue. I spent a good amount of time today scrubbing that tub, and the entire bathroom for that matter, and it is looking good! It was tremendously rewarding to complete the task and I hope to keep things looking neater. (God help me!)
This is not limited to the bathroom, if I haven’t been to a room in a while, or checked a chore, it’s obvious. Things not put away, dirty clothes, old tissues, dead animals, - you name it - it’s probably there. Sometimes, I don’t go into the basement for days at a time. I just don’t really need to. The kids do the laundry and grab anything I may need from down there. Then for whatever reason, I venture down for some needed item and I am flabbergasted at the state of affairs. How can anybody play or sit in a room that looks like that? It is a cluttered mess.
This applies also to my spiritual life. There are certain parts of my life that I work hard to keep orderly and neat by giving them proper time and attention. Then there are others that I just avoid. Too tired, too lazy, to make the time for true change. I don’t even want to make the time to look at the problem.
It is an all too easy trap to fall into. When we look at all we have to improve upon in our lives, it can become overwhelming to see how we will ever tackle it all. However, when I take the time to even battle one frequent vice or sin, when I put in the elbow grease to get things back in order, I am so much better for it and so is my family. Of course, then I have to resolve to work daily to keep things moving in the right direction. Then, I am able to move to the next part of my life that could use some attention. Little by little, rooms get cleaned, I get rid of the clutter and I am better able to be at peace and give myself joyfully to my family.
This can only be done by the grace of God. If I rely only on myself, I will constantly fall short. Only by setting my will on change, and asking God to give me the grace necessary, will I be able to overcome.
As a parent I am responsible also for my children. I have to teach and encourage them to do things right. Teaching our children to do things right takes so much work. Often, it is just easier to do the work myself, but then I know I have done them a disservice. So much work ahead, I can only do it one step at a time.
Hmmm, when do I get to write that blog on the necessity of a long afternoon nap and ice cream every night?!
Not this week it would appear.
Work is a gift. Work done with love is a pleasing offering to the Lord. Work done with love can even become enjoyable. (My kids aren't buying that one yet!). As St. Mother Teresa once said, “There is much work ahead. Let us begin.” JMJ